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Police: California man drove wrong way on Pa. Turnpike in Hempfield

Renatta Signorini
| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, 12:06 p.m.

A California man allegedly drove the wrong way on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week and state troopers stopped him from ramming into an active work zone, according to court papers.

Robert Ronald Nelson, 54, of Homeland, Calif., is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $50,000 bail on charges of aggravated assault, fleeing from police and related offenses.

Troopers allege in court papers that Nelson was driving a Ford Fusion east in the westbound lanes at 1 a.m. Oct. 2 near mile marker 74 in Hempfield. Nelson allegedly drove past marked state police vehicles with their lights activated and swerved around oncoming traffic, from tractor-trailers to passenger cars, according to an affidavit. Police said he traveled about 2 miles.

Nelson is accused of entering a lane closed for construction and two troopers “promptly conducted a legal intervention” to protect the construction workers, Trooper Christopher Rosano wrote in the complaint. A third trooper blocked Nelson’s car.

He did not have an attorney listed in online court records. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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